📎A/N. Thanks for all your support to date. It has been wonderful. Don't forget to vote if you like this chapter, and all feedback welcome :)
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Ethan had just tossed another stone onto the sand when he heard Mason calling out to him from somewhere in the distance. He twisted around from his position on the ground to watch his friends approach.
"We were wondering where you had gotten to," Mason said, as he sat down beside him. Mason rested his arms on his knees in a similar position and nodded to the small pile of stones a short distance away. "Can't be good."
Ethan's hand ready to throw the next pebble, halted his movement and turned to his friend with a raised eyebrow.
Mason smiled and pointed at his hand which was still mid throw. "When you're working a problem through, you tend to do something repetitive," he said.
Ethan turned back to study the stones and cocked his head, a wry expression as he realised he had amassed a considerable volume of them. He shrugged his shoulders and tossed the pebble. It landed on the top of the pile and quickly rolled unevenly down the little hill.
From the corner of his eye he could see Mason lean back, his body held up by his arms, his hands resting on the sand behind him. "This is such a peaceful spot," he said as he gazed out on Lake Tashmoo. "In fact, the whole island is amazing. It's hard to believe that a place like this can exist so close to concrete jungles."
Ethan had to agree, in the few days since his arrival his appreciation of the simple things had grown in leaps and bounds. He had initially thought he would go stir crazy as he wasn't used to not working. There was always a meeting to attend, fires to put out and decisions to make. His first reaction had been - How was he going to survive two weeks in this godforsaken place?
"You are still coming to Grace's aren't you?" Mason asked, his voice tinged with concern, "Her parents arrive tomorrow, and the others will descend on us this weekend, it's bound to get chaotic."
He threw Mason a weak smile, "Of course I'm coming," he said, "Grace will never forgive me if I mess up her dinner party."
Mason laughed, "You think from the fuss she's making we'll be dining with the Royals."
Ethan had to agree. "I understand that she's invited a sixth for dinner?"
"Yes, she said it was someone she knows from one of her charities. Apparently, his family is one of the major contributors. They bumped into each other at the market yesterday."
There was an edge to Mason's tone that Ethan couldn't miss. "You're not jealous are you?" he smiled.
"Jealous?" scoffed Mason, "Why would I be jealous?"
"So you're not concerned about having to compete for her attention this evening with another man?" Ethan teased.
Instead of answering Mason became deathly quiet. His expression reflected his uncertainty.
"You're really serious about this one," Ethan stated, noticing his friends mood change.
Mason picked up a small stone and tossed it towards Ethan's pile. He frowned as the object hurtled past the mound and landed on the sand near enough for the water to gently lap it up and pull it back into the ocean. "There's just something about her," he began quietly, "I can't explain it but... I'm afraid that I might screw things up."
"Don't then," was Ethan's only reply.
They sat in silence, each deep in their own thoughts.
Mason cleared his throat and shifted uncomfortably on the sand. "Tell me to mind my own business," he began, "but I know how you feel about Sydney's family. And I can't help but wonder your sudden change of heart in agreeing to come up here." He turned to face Ethan directly, "You can't tell me that the David Hutton sighting has nothing to do with you announcing you were coming with us."
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Chameleon In New YorkChickLit
Sydney has managed to rebuild her life from the ashes and forge one that is filled with secrets and half-truths. She has given up hope of ever finding someone who would see her for who she really is - not the daughter of the man responsible for des...